Sometimes drawings just don’t turn out as well as you hope. This portrait of Maria actually looked fine at the halfway stage. I should have stopped there. I started drawing it on a train a week ago. And then it has been completed in bits and pieces over a very frustrating day when I started out with no broadband and had to wait for it be restored, I’ve been working on and off in online meetings and drawing in between. The end result is an overworked portrait where I really haven’t taken the time to stop and think properly about what I’ve been doing. I thought it was OK when I finished it (and it does look better in the sketchbook than in the photo) but now I can see the many things that are wrong with it. Maybe I’ll come back to it and work on it some more another day – or will that just be overworking it more?

I drew Maria’s portrait in my tiny Moleskine sketchbook with Bic and Paperchase multicolour ballpoint pens.


Today’s portrait of Christiane is the last portrait in my A4 Moleskine sketchbook. For some reason the paper, which has been fine throughout the book, reacted weirdly to my markers on this page, pilling and tearing around the nose and being generally difficult. I’m so glad this only happened on that back page!

I’ve shared a flip through of the whole book on my YouTube channel – you can watch it here.


This was a good inspiration photo to use for ballpoint pen practice. I got to use a good range of colours and to work on lights and darks, and there wasn’t too much to worry about in terms of actually drawing Ahmed’s face because the circle provided a frame and I just had to situate a few features. What I love about this ballpoint pen practice is that I do feel like I’m making progress with each drawing. It’s tiny steps forward, but it’s all in the right direction. I love that experience of learning something new!

I drew Ahmed’s portrait in my tiny pocket Moleskine with a range of Bic multicolour ballpoint pens.


I totally messed up the mouth in Berto’s portrait, but apart from that this felt like a step forward in my watercolour technique. I felt like I had much better control of my brush and that there was a real connection between what my eyes saw and what my brush communicated on the page when I was painting.

I painted Berto’s portrait in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook with my Zecchi Toscana watercolours and finished it was Prismacolor coloured pencils.


I love drawing half faces. It takes away all the stress of drawing the second eye. Lots of other artists on Sktchy have talked at one time or another of the fear of drawing the second eye. In my case I tend to draw it slightly lower and bigger than the first eye. It doesn’t matter what I do to try to account for this (guidelines, careful measuring, etc), I still have a tendency to get it wrong and I almost always have to draw it two or three times before I’m just OK with how it looks. So drawing a half face (or a profile) every now gives me a day off from that particular worry. And I couldn’t resist Helena’s beautiful strawberry blonde hair!

I drew Helena’s portrait in my A4 Moleskine sketchbook with a Micron fineliner and Copic markers.


This week’s Old School Sktchy weekly art extravaganza (wax) challenge theme is “historical”, and when choosing a photo I knew I only needed to visit Rick’s Sktchy photo collection to find an inspiration photo to draw from. Rick is probably the most well known Sktchy muse. He has a huge collection of more than a thousand inspiration photos, in a massive range of costumes and poses. He also very open to suggestions from artists if someone has an idea for an new costume he might pose in. So a quick hunt through Rick’s photos turned up the inspiration photo for this portrait, which wouldn’t look out of place on a miniature in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

I drew Rick in my Moleskine sketchbook with a Micron fineliner, Copic markers and coloured pencils.


This is Sktchy muse Avonlea. I love the way the light casts a shadow down the left side of her face and across her eyes in the inspiration photo for this portrait, and capturing that without darkening her eyes too much was my main focus when drawing. I’m so happy with the finished portrait; I really feel like it’s the best I could have done right now and that’s all I can ask of myself.

I drew Avonlea in my A4 Moleskine sketchbook with a Micron fineliner, Copic markers and Prismacolor coloured pencils.


This is Sktchy muse Scott and this is the kind of Sktchy inspiration photo that is irresistible for me. I love these kind of ‘altered perspective through glasses’ photos and that pipe is fantastic. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to draw the pipe initially but I figured if I messed it up I could crop it out and just include the pipe stem in my portrait (these kinds of cheats are essential to my drawing practice 😂) but in the end I was happy enough with how it turned out. It’s a little large but I wasn’t going to worry too much about that.

I drew Scott in my A4 Moleskine sketchbook with Copic markers and a white gel pen.